One girl’s mission to find out if the wedding venue will make or break you (and your bank account).
HI THERE! It’s me, your boots-on-the-ground bridesmaid correspondent reporting once again on the weddings I am fortunate enough to be a part of this summer (she says with an eye roll). I think I’m starting to get a little burnt out; considering every weekend has been either bachelorette parties or wedding showers or engagement parties. My car is currently filled to the brim with everything from votive candles to penis-shaped straws and even a piñata just for kicks. I think last year I was chipper and happy to help but now I’m just bitter and old (and tired and broke). That being said, two of the most important people in my life are getting married this year and I had the unique opportunity to witness some “behind the scenes” action from two polar opposite weddings, and take a step back to see what’s really worth it and what’s not.
Let me paint you a picture… on the one hand I have my sister Hayley—covered in tattoos, jet black hair, chain smokes cigarettes and loves her Rottweiler dog, Whiskey. On the other hand we have my best friend from high school Whitney, a Disney Princess look-a-like and true romantic who has been dreaming of her wedding since the womb with enough Pinterest boards to break the internet. My sister decided to go “low key” which she soon found out is impossible because even with a local courthouse date and a backyard barbecue reception, the bills (and the stress) still add up. On the other hand I have Whitney’s lavish summer wedding at an upscale private residence that is rented out for private events. It is complete with “legendary nature” and a Personal Concierge at your beck and call for each event, ensuring every detail is flawless. What’s been the most interesting for me is hearing my sister say things like, “I’ve had to go to my tailor three times because I want the perfect dress” —this coming from a girl who literally never wanted to even get married let alone wear a white dress with lace. Or talking Whitney off the ledge as the bills start to add up as she tries to perfect every detail from the napkins to the invites (both flawless no doubt). I’m starting to realize that all anyone really cares about is good food and good company. Maybe that’s just my take on it, but from the multitude of weddings I’ve been to, what I remember most is crying on the beach watching my friend Brit’s dad walk her down the aisle, or jumping in the pool fully clothed at my friend Sara’s wedding, or waking up the next morning in a bed full of girls as we giggle about all the funny things we did the night before at my friend Kristen’s wedding. These are the moments I remember, these are the moments that matter.
Taking a step back and examining your own personal feelings will make selecting the place where you say, “I Do” a lot easier than you would think. All weddings are hard and expensive and stressful and beautiful in their own way—it’s your day and your memories, and you get to choose what things matter most to you whether that’s at a private residence, a country club, at a beach or in a backyard.
Tanya Schweid graduated from New York University, studied abroad in Israel, and is a contributing writer to Jlife magazine